5 Ways to Make Working With Others Easier

It’s always an exciting time when you start a new project, especially if that project is a collaboration. It often begins with many huddled meetings in coffee shops, where all the possibilities seem endless. When my friend Terri Trespicio and I set up our business Lights Camera Expert we knew we were onto a winner because our skills complement each other so well. She loves looking at the big picture and I’m into the details as you may have guessed.

We do a lot of speaking and present workshops to experts, authors and entrepreneurs who want to get media attention. We’ve been told time and again that we have great chemistry and play off each other very well. Someone even asked if we’d teach a class on how to collaborate better.  

Sadly not all collaborations work out so well. I’ve been part of a few duds in my time. Part of the issue is being really in tuned to the other person’s work style because there are signs your collaboration might not work out if you know what to look for. Read more

Why You Should Never Schedule Anything at the Top of the Hour

As you probably know, a top productivity tip and regular habit of mine, is to write my to do list the night before. I consider it a roadmap for the following day. I don’t have to stick to that schedule exactly, but it gives me a path to follow.

Many of the highly-productive people I know do the same thing. However I’ve noticed they make one key mistake – they schedule tasks for the top of the hour. For example your to-do list might look something like:

  • 10am catch up on email
  • 11am call Donna

What’s wrong with that?

The problem is two fold.

First of all, as a total procrastinator I know all the tricks your mind will play on you in order to put things off. Scheduling things at the top of the hour is a classic one. Why? Because the second that clock ticks 10:01 and you haven’t checked your email, you start to think to yourself, “well now I’ve missed my opportunity! I’ll get to it in a minute”.  But then you never actually get back to that original task because your attention pulls you away.

The second issue is that when you schedule something for say 11am, people don’t actually start to get ready until 11am. I find that if I’ve scheduled a call with someone, if I make the call on time they often won’t answer, as they’re still going back to their desk or checking over their notes. The same is true of meetings. How many 2pm meetings actually start on time?

So what’s my solution?

I like to schedule appointments and tasks for 15 mins past the hour. This gives you 15 minute to prepare or get yourself set up for the time ahead. So if it’s a Skype call you’ve got time to login and check your audio is working at the top of the hour. If you’re scheduling a meeting these extra 15 minutes give people time to grab a cup of coffee or tea and get settled.

Go through your diary today and shake up your schedule! Be sure to let me know how it goes in the comments below.

I’m Spoiling My New Boss Today

Today is National Bosses Day! A chance for you to celebrate (or maybe commiserate!) about your boss. It’s a pretty interesting coincidence, given that today is my first day working for myself!!

It was my last day at Fox News on Friday, after over a decade. So while it feels like the end of an era. It’s also the start of a new beginning.

Over the years I have met many entrepreneurs and I’ve always encouraged people to go out on their own and start their own businesses. It’s why I’m such a huge fan of Marie Forleo’s B School. But I never thought that way of life would be for me completely.  I always thought I’d have one toe in the corporate world. Sometimes the pieces just fall it to place and it seems like the right decision at the right time.

I’m celebrating the holiday by really spoiling my favorite new boss – me!

As a lifelong 9 to 5 worker I’ve always been a bit jealous of those who had free time during the day! They could take advantage of all the lunchtime specials, the relaxing mid-morning yoga class or the cheaper movie tickets – now I get to be one of those people!

I’m beginning my day with a trip to the spa and then a relaxing lunch. Maybe I’ll get a blowout or a manicure too. It will all be followed by a dinner with my fellow speakers for the PRSA Tri-State Conference. (There’s still time to join the conference if you’re interested!)

What are you doing for yourself today?

It’s Time to Quit my Day Job

I went to a psychic once years and years ago and she told me, “you’re going to own your own business.”

This was back when I was just getting started in TV, close to 20 years ago.

I thought she was crazy.

I told her I’d never have my own business. That I was a TV news writer and then I’d be a producer in a few years and that having my own business isn’t something I was going to do.

But it turns out she knew what she was talking about.

Technically I’ve had my own business since 2011 when I started this blog.

I’ve treated it like a job – day in and day out. Read more

How to Remember Anything

Memory is a funny thing. Most people make lists to help them remember things. (Although some people can’t always remember where their lists are!) There are some useless pieces of information that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives though. But when we really need to remember something it’s like our brain is a sieve!

Sometimes in order to remember something you’ve got to get a little weird. Here are some of the more outlandish ways to help you remember something!

Chew gum – it might not be seen as the most polite thing for you to do in an important meeting or while giving a presentation, but chewing gum can help your memory recall. A study conducted at St. Lawrence University found that people who were chewing gum would perform better in tests of recall and memory tasks. Read more